On the Town: One Hundred Years of Spectacle in Times Square, Marshall Berman (2006)

126993Berman’s cultural history of Times Square has been on my to-read list for several years. Glad I finally got to it. A review soon after publication, in The Nation I believe, intrigued me to find out how he understood 100 years of Times Square to have been both a place that evoked mass nostalgia and mass revulsion at the same time! “We need to clean it up”.. it changes… “It was really great when..”. The latest massive transformation “cleanup” of Times Square, what many experience as a combination of Disneyfication and the end of history, (what can possibly happen next?) is challenged by the ever optimistic, generous, urbanist in Berman. Look closer, it is still the spectacular, hyper reality, of light and life, he says.

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